I coulda designed that in 5 minutes.
My kindergartner likes it.
I miss the little g.
Just some of the reactions I’ve heard to Google’s new logo reveal today. For a brand that has so greatly shaped the way we interface with the internet and each other, the ways we think, the ways we resolve arguments and even the ways we work, just to name a few, any shift or evolution is going to be tricky, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.
According to Google’s official blog:
So why are we doing this now? Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop! Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).
All in all, Google kicked the tires on its logo and sought a design that would be more efficient and streamlined in all the different capacities that it might appear (which applies to all extensions beyond the core logo as well). Via a custom geometric sans typeface called Product Sans, the new logo has a more even weight across all its letter forms and harkens schoolbook letter printing, which in conjunction with the vibrant hues, certainly does give a nod to familiar school bulletin board letters. The logo will also no longer be static, but incorporate the animation of 4 color dots, where applicable like on Search and Chrome, which will help to breathe some life into our interactions with these products. Additionally, Google will be revamping all it’s logos in this new, flat look and rolling those out over time; Google+ is already using it’s new look.
That being said, I do take issue with the criticism that “I could have made it in 5 minutes” or “Whatever. It’s just a font.” I remember when Yahoo unveiled its new logo design and its changes were met with similar criticisms. Yahoo’s CEO and President Marissa Mayer talked about the in-house design process on her blog, which added fuel to the fire. However, with its redesign, Google not only cared about the appearance and optimization of its new look, but really cared about the design of it and gave it the respect and attention needed to create design through thoughtful collaboration.
Shedding some insight into evolving Google identity process:
Early this year, designers from all across the company, including Creative Lab and the Material Design team, convened in New York for an intense, week-long design sprint. We drafted a brief that identified four challenges we wanted to address:
A scalable mark that could convey the feeling of the full logotype in constrained spaces.
The incorporation of dynamic, intelligent motion that responded to users at all stages of an interaction.
A systematic approach to branding in our products to provide consistency in people’s daily encounters with Google.
A refinement of what makes us Googley, combining the best of the brand our users know and love with thoughtful consideration for how their needs are changing.
The peek at the design process is fascinating for a design geek like myself, but also, I think it is educational for people to get a better understanding of what it takes to create an entirely new brand system. It’s not something you crank out in 5 minutes and it’s not something that just anyone can do. A critical eye for design is imperative as are gut instincts that have developed from experience, that define edits and filters. There are complexities and nuances that have to be thought through, evaluated and vetted by, who knows how many, decision makers, and that’s just the foundation of the system. Regardless of Monday morning quarterbacking and kneejerk reactions to the new logo, you’ve got to know that Google respects the design process and in talking about it, helps to elevate and acknowledge the process as a craft beyond making something look pretty (don’t get me on that soap box), but one of skill, critical thinking and problem solving.